Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wild 3 Blue Jackets 1

A late goal by Minnesota made the final score appear larger than the game was close. The second game of a home-and-home matchup with Minnesota ends with a Todd White goal with 30 seconds left.

A tight-checking game like the one the night before, this time Minnesota came out on top. Hard to fault the Jackets since they have been playing better, though the offense has yet to spread its wings. Missing both Nash and Brule certainly has something to do with the lack of scoring.

David Vyborny had the lone Columbus goal, a first period power play goal set up by Berard and Zherdev. Martin Prusek started his third straight game in goal. Looks like Denis will ride the pines as Gallant rides a hot goalie. Columbus managed only 16 shots on goal while Minnesota had 24.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Blue Jackets 2 Wild 1, Shootout

The Blue Jackets win their second game in a row and first in franchise history via the shootout. Trevor Letowski neeted the game winner during the shootout's fifth sudden-death round. Normally shootouts are three tries per team; if tied after three rounds, the next rounds are sudden-death types (meaning: you score and the opponent does not then you win). During the third period, Adam Foote scored his third goal and second in the last two games to tie the score.

Martin Prusek was in goal for the second straight game for Columbus. Wow, Columbus outshot Minnesota 59-34. The Jackets had an incredible 24 shots in the third period yet only managed one goal. Vyborny had 6 shots on goal. Columbus only had three penalties during the game.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Blue Jackets 3 Predators 2 OT

Adam Foote's short-handed goal with less than a minute left in overtime gave the Blue Jackets a home ice win. The victory snapped an 8 game winning streak for Nashville. Letowski (his 3rd goal of the season) and Hartigan (1st of the season; a power play goal) also scored for Columbus.

It was nice to see the Jackets come through in overtime after allowing Nashville to score a goal with 20 seconds left in overtime.

Martin Prusek was in goal for Columbus. The Jackets outshot Nashville, 34-24. After being blistered by Detroit this week, it was important to get a victory to keep the team from a freefall.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Red Wings 6 Blue Jackets 2

Same result, different day. The downward spiraling Blue Jackets drop another one to the Red Wings. I guess there was improvement as they managed to score this time. Bryan Berard (power play goal) netted his third goal of the season and Trevor Letowski got his second. Not enough firepower for Columbus to keep up with the powerful Detroit club. Detroit was a gaudy 4-8 on the power play, especially galling given that they performed this scoring frenzy on Columbus ice.

Berard and Malhotra lead the team in scoring with a low 5 points apiece. It looks like a rough season in Columbus.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Red Wings 6 Blue Jackets 0

Detroit blasted the Jackets at home in Columbus. Detroit dominated in every facet of the game, including 2-5 on the power play. Not much to add here given the miserable performance by the outmatched Jackets. The injured and still out Rick Nash (or Mario Lemeiux or Wayne Gretzy for that matter) would not have made a difference to the outcome. This game was the first one that Columbus really looked bad. Really bad.

Monday, October 17, 2005

game 06: Kings 3 Blue Jackets 1

The Blue Jackets get overpowered once again. Nash's scoring punch being off ice has left them weak offensively, but hsi loss should not cripple the team. The real problem is that no player has stepped into the leadership void during Nash's absence. Who will it be? Nikolai Zherdev, a spark and exciting player last year, scored his first goal of the season in the third period. Hopefully Zherdev will use the goal to start fulfilling his seemingly vast potential.

Misc: Anaheim outshot Columbus 31-20. Power plays: Los Angeles 2-9; Columbus 0-7. Through six games the Blue Jackets have only scored 11 goals while allowing opponents to net 19.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Brule Out for Six Weeks

First round draft pick Gilbert Brule broke his sternum and will miss six weeks. Flames defenseman Roman Hamrlik delivered the hit that injured Brule, who is now on injured reserve until nearly the end of November. It's a setback for the youngster who played hard in the preseason to make the team.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

game 05: Ducks 4 Blue Jackets 3

The Jackets lost a see-saw battle with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3. Anaheim would go ahead and Columbus would catch up. A late goal by Keith Carney put the Ducks ahead for good a couple of minutes after Jan Hrdina's second goal as a Blue Jacket (and second goal of the game) had knotted the game at 3. Defenseman Bryan Berard had a strong game, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Misc: Anaheim outshot Columbus 36-19. Power plays: Anaheim 1-6; Columbus 2-9. Anaheim's power play goal snapped a 14 penalty kill streak by Columbus. Rick Nash missed another game. Jody Shelley had almost twice as many minutes in the penalty box (9:00) than he had on the ice (4:44).

Thursday, October 13, 2005

game 04: Sharks 4 Blue Jackets 1

On the road the Jackets got spanked by San Jose. A late goal by Suchy kept them from being shutout. One thing is very clear even at this early point: No Rick Nash, no wins. They need their star on the ice... once he is healthy. Though there is no need to rush him back, he is missed. Sorely.

Misc: San Jose outshot Columbus 36-27. Power plays: Chicago 0-9; Columbus 0-6. Foote was on the ice for over 26 minutes, the most for both teams.

Monday, October 10, 2005

game 03: Blue Jackets 3 Black Hawks 2

Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard had a hand in two goals (a power play goal and an assist) against his old team. In the first period, newly acquired Jason Chimera netted a goal in his first game as a Blue Jacket, assists to Malhotra and Letowski. Jody Shelley, of all people, got into the act with a goal assisted by Berard and Balastik.

Misc: Rick Nash again did not play. Chicago outshot Columbus 32-27. Power plays: Chicago 1-8; Columbus 1-4. Denis in goal outduels Khabibulin. On Saturday, the Blue Jackets got Chimera in a deal that sent Geoff Sanderson and Tim Jackman to Phoenix for Chimera, defenseman Cale Hulse and forward Mike Rupp.
game 02: Flames 3 Blue Jackets 1

Calgary ruined the home opener in Columbus by handing the Jackets a 3-1 defeat. The game was a solid affair with good, solid checking. For Calgary, Shean Donovan opened the scoring in the second period. Early in the third period Trevor Letowski notched his first goal of the season with assists to Zherdev and Marchant. A late goal by Darren McCarty sealed the lead near the end of the game.

Misc: Goalie Marc Denis faced 38 shots while Columbus only managed 20 shots on goal. Columbus killed all 8 of its short-handed situations and was 1-5 on the power play. Rick Nash did not play due to a lingering ankle sprain. Jackets rookie forward Gilbert Brule was stoned by Miikka Kiprusoff on a breakaway in the second period.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

game 01

Capitals 3 Blue Jackets 2

The Blue Jackets dropped their season opener in Washington to the Capitals. It's a tough loss given that they had a 2-0 lead into the second period. For the Jackets, Dan Fritsche netted both goals. First round selection Gilbert Brule got his first NHL point, assisting on Fritsche's first goal. Caps forward Alexander Ovechkin, a young Russian making his NHL debut, played tough and scored two goals. Rick Nash aggravated his ankle, sprained in training camp, and did not skate in the third period.

Misc: Pascal Leclaire was in goal for Columbus. The Blue Jackets outshot Washington 37-19. Columbus was 0-9 on the power play.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Here Comes the Regular Season

Wednesday is opening night for the Blue Jackets. Hopefully the team will overcome its flu-bug and head into teh season with a new energy. Top draft pick Gilbert Brule may have worked his way onto the team with a strong preseason, leading the Blue Jackets with 5 points. Brule's scrappy play would look good on the front line.

As we enter the new year, keep an eye on Gerard Gallant as he enters his first full season as Blue Jackets coach. I think he is up for the task though that task is a hard one - developing chemistry on a team loaded with young players. Nash and Zherdev should be fun to watch. As always, we'll cheer for the Blue Jackets unheralded hero, David Vyborny. Hopefully goalie Marc Denis will be able to shine now that he has a few veterans on defense in front of him.

Let the games begin!